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In this country, you just cannot escape rugby. No matter how hard you try. When we first moved to New Zealand, Andy couldn't stand rugby. All the pauses in play, the time wasted setting scrums, all the punt it as hard as you can up the other end and things like that. Sure, all of this still happens in New Zealand, but there is a tournament here called the National Provincial Championship which is a tournament played between the provinces which lacks the plastic and ridiculous add-ons that the Super 14 and the Northern Hemisphere tournaments seem to suffer from. You can go along and cheer your local team on with 5,000 other locals who just want 'Wellington' or 'Taranaki' to go well, rather than having to support a non-descript grouping of players such as 'Hurricanes' or 'Brumbies' or some other crap name they've conjured up this week.

Anyway, as a result, we've now seen plenty of rugby. Just going through the ticket stubs we've got here, one or both of us have seen (internationals in black, Super Rugby in red, NPC in blue and Heartlands Championship in purple.):

Wellington Hurricanes vs. Canterbury Crusaders - Westpac Stadium, Wellington - February 2006
New Zealand (All Blacks) vs. South Africa - Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 22nd July 2006
Waikato vs. Wellington  - Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - 14th September 2007
Wellington Hurricanes vs. Waikato Chiefs - Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 29th February 2008
New Zealand (All Blacks) vs. South Africa - Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 5th July 2008
Wellington vs. Waikato - Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 13th September 2008
Waikato vs. Taranaki - Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - 2nd October 2008
Counties-Manukau vs. North Harbour - Mt. Smart, Auckland - 4th October 2008
Auckland vs. Northland - Eden Park, Auckland - 5th October 2008
Wellington vs. Southland - Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 17th October 2008
Waikato Chiefs vs. Wellington Hurricanes - Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - 9th May 2009
Waikato Chiefs vs. Canberra Brumbies - Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - 15th May 2009
Auckland Blues vs. Canterbury Crusaders - Eden Park, Auckland - 16th May 2009
Taranaki vs. North Harbour - Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth - 4th September 2009
King Country vs. Thames Valley - Te Kuiti - 5th September 2009
Waikato vs. Hawke's Bay - Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - 5th September 2009
Wellington vs. North Harbour - Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 17th October 2009
Wellington Hurricanes vs. Waikato Chiefs
- Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 1st May 2010
Wellington vs. Tasman
- Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 1st August 2010
Wellington vs. Northland - Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 28th August 2010
Manawatu vs. Wellington - FMG Stadium, Palmerston North - 4th September 2010
Wellington vs. Hawkes Bay
- Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 18th September 2010
Hawkes Bay vs. Northland  - McLean Park, Napier - 7th October 2010
Counties-Manukau vs. Auckland - Growers Stadium, Pukekohe - 9th October 2010
North Harbour vs. Wellington - North Harbour Stadium, Albany - 10th October 2010
Wairarapa Bush vs. King Country - Memorial Park, Masterton - 16th October 2010
Wellington vs. Taranaki
- Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 16th October 2010
Wellington Hurricanes vs. Otago Highlanders
- Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 18th February 2011
Wellington Hurricanes vs. Waikato Chiefs
- Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 12th March 2011
Waikato Chiefs vs. Auckland Blues - Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - 26th March 2011
Wellington vs. Auckland
- Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 23rd July 2011
Wellington vs. Canterbury - Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 27th July 2011
New Zealand (All Blacks) vs. South Africa
- Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 30th July 2011
King Country vs. South Canterbury - Owen Delany Park, Taupo - 20th August 2011
Manawatu vs. Waikato - FMG Stadium, Palmerston North - 20th August 2011
Horowhenua-Kapiti vs. King Country - Levin Domain, Levin - 27th August 2011
South Africa vs. Wales - Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 11th September 2011 (Rugby World Cup)
Australia vs. USA - Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 23rd September 2011 (Rugby World Cup)
New Zealand (All Blacks) vs. Canada - Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 2nd October 2011 (Rugby World Cup)
Wellington Hurricanes vs. Otago Highlanders
- Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 17th March 2012
Wellington Hurricanes vs. Auckland Blues - Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 4th May 2012
New Zealand (All Blacks) vs. South Africa - Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - 15th September 2012
Wellington vs. Taranaki
- Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 14th October 2012
Wellington Hurricanes vs. NSW Waratahs
- Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 6th April 2013

Anyway, how's about a look at a few photos?

Anyone fancy a Retail Level turnover budget?
Top Left: From the Taranaki vs. North Harbour game at Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth. The guy on the microphone is Mark Stafford, rugby bookmaker at the TAB (where Andy works). This photo is kinda cool with Mark steady in the foreground whilst the North Harbour team are training behind.

Top Right: Also from the Taranaki vs. North Harbour game. A ruck starts to be formed. This game was probably the worst I've seen. The conditions weren't great, but neither team could keep hold of the ball and there were continual handling errors.

Right: From the same game, the Taranaki team start to form a line out. Jason Eaton, occasional All Blacks lock is the guy with the facial hair.

Bottom Left: BJ takes part in the on field entertainment before the match between Waikato and Hawke's Bay. He was in a race where he had to carry a tray of drinks without spilling them, wolf down a Kiwi stadium staple - meat-on-a-stick and then run to the finish. He split all his drinks, nearly choked on the meat and nearly crashed at the end. Good effort though. He lost.

Bottom Right: From the Waikato vs. Hawke's Bay game. The scrum is about to be joined. 
No. I haven't done that sodding outlet level retail budget yet.
I found it, I found it and it was THIS big!! Left: From the Waikato Chiefs game against the Australian Capital Territory Brumbies at the tail end of the 2009 Super 14 season. The line out is there to be seized.

Bottom Left: From the King Country vs. Thames Valley game in Te Kuiti. This is effectively a game from the lower tier of the National Provincial Championship - The Heartlands Championship. The majority of the teams in this division are from smaller sized provinces; some of which would never have played at the top NPC level. Thames Valley represent the Coromandel Peninsula, for example. In this picture, two players compete for the line out.

Bottom Right: Either a load of the Thames Valley players (in yellow) have jumped on each other for no real reason or this is the start of a ruck.
No. I haven't done that sodding outlet level retail budget yet.
Right: A final picture from the King Country vs. Thames Valley game. The King Country First 5/8th takes a penalty to put the first points on the board.
This picture is from the Hurricanes (Wellington) versus the Crusaders (Christchurch) game at the Westpac Arena where Jenny and I were hosted by the ANZ Bank in their corporate box. This photo shows one of the early exchanges.
This is towards the end of the match. The Crusaders are leading 20 - 12.
The match is over. The Crusaders won the game, but due to the score predictions of Jenny (closest to the Crusaders score) and myself (Closest to the whole score) we won some Hurricanes gear courtesy of the ANZ. Nice.